First Show of 2013

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Its been a while! Can’t express how stoked we are for Saturday, February 2 at Nectar Lounge. The last time we performed was back in November when we rocked Red Square for the University of Washington’s 151st birthday celebration. We’re finally taking a break from two straight months in the studio at Christal Haze and taking the stage for the first time in 2013, along with the high energy ska of The Georgetown Orbits and DJ Kid Hops, who hits the airwaves with reggae every Saturday morning from 9-12 on KEXP 90.3 FM. It’s gonna be a night to remember – see you there!

Kore Ionz perform at Nectar Lounge on Saturday, February 2, 2013 with The Georgetown Orbits and DJ Kid Hops. $8 advance, $10 at the door, 21+, 8pm. 412 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103. GET TICKETS

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Pacific University with Geo

A couple weekends ago Pacific University brought us back down to rock The Grove (about 45 min west of Portland) with our braddah Geo of Blue Scholars. He spoke at a panel discussion earlier in the day with Professor Rod Labrador from the University of Hawai`i on social identity and activism, and we took the stage with him later that night, rocking “First Avenue,” “Save Me,” and “Sweet Reggae Music” together. Thought we’d share a few photos from the night taken by braddah Mark Fukui. If you want to see more, hit him up on Facebook! And be sure to check the Blue Scholars fall tour schedule to see if the braddahs will be in a city near you! Town All Day Tour starts November 29th!

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From Guns To Guitars

Mahalo to braddah Absalom Shantz (our drummer Teo’s older brother) for sending us this link. An amazing artist and revolutionary named Pedro Reyes is transforming “agents of death into instruments of life” in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Check out his amazing project right here.

And when you’re all pau checking that out, hear some words of wisdom from Bunny Wailer (one of the original three members of The Wailers) in this interview of him talking about chains transforming to guns:

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PHOTOS: Last Saturday at Nectar Lounge

Last Saturday we rocked Nectar Lounge with the braddahs Two Story Zori, DUBCHAMP (aka DJ Million), and Maveryck to a packed house. Through the course of the night lovers intertwined, dancers let their souls go wild, and herbalists meditated with new friends. The overwhelming positive energy in the room was flowing from wall to wall, and the only regret of the night was how short our time was together. Seattle, we felt the love, and we’ll be with you for as long as life goes on. Here are some magical moments from the night, taken by our braddah Dan DeMay.

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Nectar Lounge: 4 Years In The Making…

Tomorrow night we return to Nectar Lounge once again, this time to welcome everyone back to the fall. We stumbled upon the photo above, which is from four years ago (2008), when we performed at Nectar Lounge for the very first time. Since then we’ve shared the stage with Third World and Ky-Mani Marley, headlined a couple Earth Day celebrations (and even planted a Japanese maple in the patio), and more important than anything else, we’ve met so many of you for the very first time at one of our favorite venues here in Seattle. We’ve even heard stories about couples meeting for the first time at one of our shows and going on to get married, even using “Love You Better” as the theme! What?!

We hope everyone and their mom (which happens more often than not) comes out tomorrow night to celebrate life and love, along with our friends joining us on the bill. Our braddah Maveryck will kick off the night with “feel-good frequencies” he calls Trizz-Hop. Look out for his self-produced debut album, Bliss, set to drop in late October 2012.

Next is the one-man-dub-champion who aptly goes by DUBCHAMP. The man behind the drums with reggae legend Clinton Fearon will be dubbing all by himself – with drums, samplers, loopers, and more! He’ll also be rocking the party all night long as his alter ego, DJ Million.

Going on right before us will be our braddahs Two Story Zori, who are currently back in the studio working on their new album. Check out their single “Falling,” off their first EP release. Pak & The Lolos just shared the stage with members of Two Story Zori this past Wednesday at `Ohana, along with members of Clinton Fearon, Adrian Xavier, The Highlife Band, and Stay Grounded.

See you all tomorrow night at Nectar Lounge! It’s going to be nuts! Get your advance tickets here – they’re going fast! Show your student ID at the door and get in for the special back-to-school ticket price of just 7 bucks!

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The Roof Is Going Up!

Two weeks ago we stopped at our drummer Teo’s house in Leschi to check out the rebuilding of his family’s home that was destroyed during a manhunt in late November 2009 (see previous blog). Jahyoo and I stopped by again yesterday after I got back in town from the annual Arts Corps retreat (closest thing to Utopia?), and not only is there a whole new story to the house, the roof is finally on its way up! Congrats to the Super Shantz Bros. and their crew – wish them luck before the rain comes, and hope to see all you Seattle-ites this Saturday at Nectar Lounge!

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Last Night At Christal Haze

Last night we spent a late late night once again at Christal Haze right in the heart of Rainier Beach working on the new album. We’re really focusing on three songs right now, with some new sounds (Pro Tools MIDI has definitely come a long way) that we’ve never tried out before. So exciting to be doing something new. In the songs we’re talking about love, loss, life, and letting go. Light and heavy at the same time. Can’t wait to share with you.

Halfway through the session Teo asked if we saw the video footage of our trumpet player Owuor rocking a massive music festival in Germany called Splash! with Macklemore, who just sold out the WaMu Theater (7,500 tickets) here in Seattle. Check out the video right here – Owuor is off the hook.

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For the Sea-Foodies

We play music. We love food. Music can play a big role in how you taste food, and food can influence the way you hear music. Our senses are all connected, just as music and food are connected as integral building blocks of cultures all around the world.

Every time we get together for rehearsals, business meetings, and just straight-up kicking it, we always share food as a family. It’s one thing for us to choose what we cook up, but a very important thing we always consider is where the food we buy comes from. We don’t want hormones, preservatives, and other unnatural things in our bodies. Food should come straight from the earth, not from factories and laboratories. Cause if the food we put in our bodies is toxic, the toxicity is going to affect the music we play!

The weekend the Paks cooked a seafood feast for Jahyoo’s preschool teacher and her family, as a simple gesture of thanks for all the amazing work she does as one of the first teachers in his life. And without education, how could culture be passed down to the younger generations?

The Paks selected some wild shrimp, Pacific oysters, and Dungeness crab, all from local sources with integrity. Thought we’d share some photos from the feast, especially for all you sea-foodies!

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UPDATE: “First Avenue” Official Music Video

Pak and Geo aka Prometheus Brown (Blue Scholars) in the studio during recording of “First Avenue,” hanging with family on Whidbey Island, and rocking Bumbershoot 2011.

This morning we received a report from PayPal of all the generous donations made since July through our “First Avenue” music video fundraising campaign, and so we thought it would only be fitting to give an update on the project’s progress.

Last June we were introduced to filmmaker Jeff Santos, who has worked with the likes of hip hop artist Wizdom, the Massive Monkees, and the Washington Huskies football team. We met at CaffĂ© Vita and drove around Seward Park as he listened to “First Avenue” for the very first time. He liked it and enthusiastically agreed to take on the role of principal director. We met for a second time at the Panama Hotel in Chinatown, where we plan to film the video’s opening scene.

The Panama Hotel, built in 1910 by the first Japanese-American architect in Seattle, Sabro Ozasa, containing the last remaining Japanese bathhouse (sento) in the United States, and the namesake of the bestselling novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (2009) by Jamie Ford.

At the Panama Hotel we sat down with the owner, Jan Johnson, who dedicates her life to preserving post-WWII Japanese American history, working tirelessly to her daily mantra: “The beginning of the end of war is remembering.” The walls of the Panama Hotel are adorned with black and white photos from the 1940s showing what the area looked like before and after the internment of the Japanese.

Photo of a Japanese internment camp from a Washington State high school history textbook. The boy closest to the camera is `Ohana owner Kyle Yoshimura’s Uncle Irwin, the man in the middle testing the wood stove is his grandfather Denny, the woman directly behind him is his grandmother Ruth, and the baby in her lap is his father.

One of the many children born in internment camps after World War II was the father of Kyle Yoshimura, owner of `Ohana in Belltown, which will be the setting of the final scene in the video. We will be interviewing Kyle very soon and will be posting a blog all about his family’s history. And as we get closer to the shoot dates, we will be putting out a casting call for extras for the final scene, which will be an all-out party at `Ohana, sponsored in part by a very exciting collaboration which we can’t announce just yet!

All in all, the “First Avenue” video will be a balance between a historical view on the Japanese internment and how it may have affected the relationships between the Japanese and the Filipinos (many of whom were brought in to fill the jobs that were lost by the Japanese), a commentary on the power of relationships and the struggles in moving apart, as well as a modern day example of the collaboration between reggae and hip hop. As you all know, our braddah Geo aka Prometheus Brown of Blue Scholars is featured on the track and will most likely cameo on the video. If you’d like to be featured as a co-producer of the video, feel free to donate right here. Stay tuned for more updates…

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Rebuilding the House of Shantz

Early this morning we hung out in Leschi for a bit to check out the house owned by our drummer Teo and his brother Ab. After an unfortunate incident with the Seattle Police SWAT on November 30, 2009 (The Seattle Times received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the story behind this – read more here), the Shantz residence was completely destroyed, and they have since been working tirelessly to rebuild their home, and their livelihood.

This Thursday a major milestone will be reached in the family’s nearly three-year struggle, as the roof will finally be installed, just in time to protect the house from the imminent rainy season here in Seattle. Although things are definitely on the rise, the house is still very much a skeleton, and we wish the family all the best in their mission to rebuild what was needlessly stripped from them. Stay tuned for more updates as they rebuild the house of Shantz…

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